There’s nothing better than a nice weekend brunch, especially when it involves this Stuffed Challah French Toast. It’s filled with a delicious strawberry and whipped cream cheese mixture, then topped with fresh berries and drizzled with maple syrup.
I am a big fan of a nice weekend brunch. However, here in town, ALL brunch restaurants tend to be full every single Saturday, so you either have to get there really early (nope, I’m definitely not a morning person) or wait like 2 hours to get a table. It’s that crazy. That’s why I like making a nice and cozy brunch at home on Saturdays. Nothing beats the smell of freshly brewed coffee and something yummy cooking on the griddle.
So…let me tell you about this amazing stuffed challah French toast. It’s rich challah bread stuffed with a cream cheese and strawberry mixture, soaked in a rich custard, and then cooked on the griddle until golden brown. Then, the best part…a generous drizzle of sweet maple syrup and lots of fresh berries. That’s what life is all about!
Next time you’re planning to host a weekend brunch, try this challah French toast recipe! You’ll impress everybody.
How to Make Stuffed Challah French Toast
Alright, time to talk about this delicious brunch recipe! Per usual, please find ingredient quantities in the recipe card.
- Make the whipped cream cheese filling: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and honey on medium-high speed using an electric mixer, until fluffy and light, about 1-2 minutes. Fold in strawberries until just combined.
- Cut challah bread into 1 1/2 inch thick slices. A regular sized challah loaf should yield about 6 slices. Tips: be sure to get thick slices of challah to hold the filling and to prevent soggy French toast. Remember the bread will be soaked in custard, so it needs to be thick enough to hold the liquid.
- Make the custard: In a very large pan (like a pyrex pan, enough for 6 challah slices), whisk eggs, milk, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until evenly combined. If your pan is not large enough, divide it up in 2 pans. Set aside. This is the custard mixture where the toast will soak.
- Back to the bread – carefully, cut pockets on the top edge of each challah slice and stuff in cream cheese mixture to your liking. Tip: don’t overstuff it.
- Place the prepared stuffed challah slices on the pan(s). Let them soak the custard mixture for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons butter on griddle over medium heat. Cook each slice for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown on each side.
- Serve with fresh berries, maple syrup. If desired, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
And that’s all! I hope you enjoy this challah French toast this weekend.
Variations and Substitutions
Here are some tips if you want to change things up a bit:
- Use brioche bread instead of challah
- Instead of strawberries, use raspberries or blueberries for the filling
- Customize the custard by adding your favorite spices, such as nutmeg or cardamom
- Top with cool whip or creme fraiche
Tips for Making the Perfect French Toast
Now, the most important part…how to make the perfect French toast and how to prevent soggy bread! Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Use the right bread
Choose a rich bread, like challah or brioche, and buy an entire loaf (not pre-sliced). Avoid regular white bread, which is very thin, or anything too tough, such as rustic bread.
2. Cut thick slices of bread
The bread is going to soak in rich custard and it will also be stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese, so be sure to cut thick slices. Each bread slice should be 1 1/2 inch thick. Plus, who likes thin slices of French toast anyway?!
3. Use day old bread
Drier bread will soak the custard mixture a lot better without getting soggy.
4. Balance the sweetness
If you’re going to drizzle your French toast with maple syrup, be sure to not make the filling too sweet. The filling in this recipe only uses honey. However, if you’re not a big fan of maple syrup, feel free to add extra sweetness to the whipped cream cheese filling.
5. Mix the custard thoroughly
You definitely don’t want strings of egg in your custard mixture.
6. Let it soak, let it soak, let it soak
Soaking the bread in custard is what makes French toast so good. Don’t just dip it right before cooking. Let it soak for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
7. Use the right amount of heat
If you use too little heat, you’ll end up with soggy and pale French toast. And of course, too much heat will result in burnt and undercooked French toast. So, use medium heat and adjust accordingly if your pan or griddle gets too cold or hot.
I hope you like this recipe! It’s the perfect choice for a really nice weekend brunch, especially now that summer is coming and berries abound. And it’s also so pretty!
Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to pin this recipe:
If you’re looking for more weekend brunch recipes, check out the following:
- Denver Omelette Muffins
- Asparagus and Prosciutto Quiche
- Fresh Strawberry Bread
- Apple Dutch Baby Pancake
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
- Blueberry Bread with Crumb Topping from Joyous Apron
Stuffed Challah French Toast
- 1 large loaf challah bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter for pan (about 4 tablespoons)
Whipped Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup diced strawberries (small dice)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Fresh berries
- Maple syrup
- Confectioners sugar
- Make the whipped cream cheese filling: Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, and honey in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the strawberries until just combined.
- Make the custard: In large a pan (I used a large pyrex pan that fits 6 slices of bread), whisk the eggs, milk, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
- Cut the challah loaf into 1 1/2 inch slices (about 6 slices total). Carefully, cut pockets on the top edge of each slice for the filling. Stuff in the cream cheese mixture to your liking, being careful not to overstuff it. You don't want it to break apart. Repeat with the remaining slices.
- Soak the prepared challah bread slices in the custard mixture for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through. If not enough room in the pan for all the slices, transfer some of custard mixture and bread slices into another pan.
- Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a griddle over medium heat. Cook each slice for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with maple syrup, fresh berries, and dust with confectioners sugar.